Peer support for digital skills & inclusion in Education and Employment


I recently learned of a free eBook via the JAWS For Windows Mailing List, which focuses on teaching new JAWS users to use their screen reader in an efficient manner.
The title of the said eBook is ‘Getting Back to Work with JAWS’, and it can be downloaded as a ZIP File from this link.
The eBook in question covers three primary areas, and they are:

  1. JAWS and the basics of Windows 7.
  2. JAWS and using Internet Explorer.
  3. JAWS and Microsoft Office programmes.

Getting Back to Work with JAWS has been written by George Calvert, and the author hopes that the eBook will “give new JAWS users techniques, tips and strategies needed to become a productive JAWS user in a very short period of time”.
Continue Reading Free Training eBook | Getting Back to Work with JAWS

    Hi All,

    I was recently made aware of an application for iOS Devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch) called SimpleMic.
    This app is optimised to work with the iOS screen reader VoiceOver, but it also functions when the said screen reader is not in use.

    SimpleMic enables you to quickly and efficiently record notes, lectures, meetings and/or other sounds on your device.
    I think this app would be great for those who are involved in a situation where it is necessary to retain information which is presented in an audio form, e.g. lecture, interview, etc.
    Continue Reading Recording Audio Using SimpleMic for iOS

      As I am currently attempting to put additional supports in place for my first employment venture after College/University, I thought it was appropriate that I would share information regarding the supports which are available for those in employment with a disability.

      The most comprehensive information I have read is provided by Citizens Information. There is a page dedicated to the topic of Employment and Disability. There are various supports listed, and further information on each support can be accessed by opening the relevant link. If you are searching for an employment opportunity, I would advise that you make contact with your local Supported Employment Office.
      Continue Reading Resource for Employment Supports

        Dear All,

        I was recently browsing the Association for Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) website, and I found a great article for those who are thinking about and/or beginning a third-level programme of study.

        You can access the mentioned article at this link, and you can use the information present to create a checklist of actions to take prior to commencing study at College/University.

        Also, the article describes the most common supports which are available to students with a disability.
        Continue Reading Possible checklist for those beginning third level education

          Dear All,

          I discovered a gadget that could be considered Assistive Technology (AT) earlier today, and I think it could be of immense benefit to educators of low vision and/or visually impaired students. The afore mentioned AT is called the Equil SmartMarker, and it is essentially a digital whiteboard marker which displays what it has written to an iPad, iPhone and/or other device. The blog post I read concerning this AT gives a very good description of how the Equil SmartMarker can be used in a classroom setting.
          Continue Reading Assistive Technology for Educators of Low Vision and/or Visually Impaired Students

            Dear All,

            My name is Niall Gallagher, I am currently 24 years old, and I live in county Sligo in the North-West of Ireland. I am very interested in listening to popular music, attending musical theatre productions, travelling abroad, discovering new technology/gadgets, reading, and keeping up to date with a broad range of radio and TV programs. In terms of disability, I am Registered as Blind and have Reduced Mobility. My visual impairment means that I use a lot of technology in my day to day life, and my level of vision is non-functional in comparison to a non-visually impaired individual. Regarding my reduced mobility, it does affect me in terms of getting from A to B, but as long as someone guides the walking aid I use it’s not a problem. Despite the previously mentioned disabilities, I attended mainstream primary and secondary school, progressed on to college, and continued my studies to graduate with a Masters in Human Resource Management in January of 2015.
            Continue Reading Niall Gallagher ~ My Story… So Far!

              This post will be of interest to those who are visually impaired or blind, and are:

              1. Thinking about using the Macintosh or other Apple technology, and would like to know more.
              2. Beginning to use Macintosh or other Apple technology, and want to improve their digital skills.

              The first of the two materials I would like to share with you, is an electronic book which has been made available via iBooks. The said eBook is Supporting Students with Low Vision Using Apple Technology, and will be of most benefit to those who have low-vision. That link will tell you more about the eBook, and allow you to download the mentioned book if desired.
              Continue Reading Training Materials for Visually Impaired and Blind Users of the Macintosh and other Apple Technology

                I would be more than happy to provide advice for anyone starting college / university in any of the below areas. The advice I can offer will be of most benefit to someone who is visually impaired and / or blind. In total, I have completed 5 years of college / university in two different institutions.

                1. What to expect from college / university.
                2. How to go about arranging additional supports (if required).
                3. The best way to study for exams and continuous assessments.
                4. How to conduct research for assignments and other projects.
                  Continue Reading I am more than happy to offer advice regarding starting college / university.
                • : for two months or longer
                • : Yes
                • : Yes
                • : Yes
                • : Yes
                • : Yes
                • : I will consider any other means of communication.
                • : Sligo

                I am 24 years old, I live in Sligo, and I am registered as blind and have reduced mobility. Due to the fact I am registered as blind, I have several years’ experience with assistive technology. This experience is particularly focused on screen reading software (PC, Mac, and iPhone/iPad), and other technologies which have an audible element (Talking calculators, OCR software, etc.).

                I have completed a BBS (Hons) Business in the Institute of Technology Sligo, and I graduated from the University of Limerick with a Masters in Human Resource Management. While completing both qualifications, I interacted with the disability services in both institutions. I am aware of the types of supports which are available, and the benefit that having said supports has.
                Continue Reading Niall Gallagher

                • : Propose myself as a Champion
                • : Higher education access

                I have been using VoiceOver since 2009, and I would be more than happy to help anyone with any queries/issues they may have.

                • : for two months or longer
                • : Yes
                • : Yes
                • : Yes
                • : Yes
                • : Yes
                • : I will use a medium of communication the individual requesting support is comfortable using.
                • : Sligo